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Women Empowerment In India Essay

5597 words - 23 pages

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

Though this project I have attempted to understand the status women. I have tried to study the importance of women empowerment. The project includes what has been done and what should be done for the empowerment and upliftment of women.

INTRODUCTION

 
 The Constitution of the Republic of India ensures equality for women and men in every sphere of life and activity. The fundamental rights of the Indian Constitution specifically mentions: "The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them". Women in India have been given equality of opportunity in ...view middle of the document...

During the ancient period, there were icons such as Sita, Damayanti, Draupadi and three of the Panchkanyas, Ahilya, Tara, Mandodari, who are still remembered with great reverence in Indian society. It was in the later period, approximately 500 BC, that the status of women gradually declined with the Smritis and other religious texts giving diktats which adversely affected women's freedom and rights. With the rise of Brahaminism and due to conflicting religious and social thoughts, the place of women remained subordinate and unsatisfactory. Buddhism and Jainism, however, continued to give a place of honour to women. Women were eligible for admission to the religious order in both Buddhism and Jainism. Bhikshuni Sanghamitra was one of the main proponents of Buddhism of her time.
 
Medieval Period
The medieval period saw further deterioration in women's position in society and their subjugation in the religious and legal spheres. This was a period when important scriptures propagated the idea that women were unfit for freedom and deserved no Independence. They should be kept under the authority of men in all stages of life. During the early ADs due to foreign invasions and later in the early years of British rule in India there was further set back in the position of Indian women. The purdah system, which was not practiced as a rule in the Indian society, became prevalent due to uncertain socio-political reasons. The growing incidence of female infanticide, the custom of child marriage, and the inhuman practice of sati became a part of the social culture, along with the religious ban on widow remarriage.
Though there are conflicting opinions about the status of women in this period, it was in this period that India saw the floodgates open to social reforms. Inspite of many handicaps the medieval period also had its share of great women in the fields of politics, literature, education and religion. Women were equally eminent in the field of administration and state crafts. Razia Sultana, Empress Noorjahan, Chand Bibi , Maharani Jija Bai, Rani Padmini  are some women with exemplary achievements. The Princesses of the Mughal courts and women from higher social circles were well educated and pursued many cultural activities.  Jahanara Begum and Princess Zebunnissa were well-known poetesses and they also influenced the ruling administration. The Bhakti movement brought many women poet saints from different social and economic classes to join Vaishnav and other traditions of devotion, and also the sufi traditions in different parts of India. Akkamadevi, Mirabai, Rami Janabai, Lal Ded, etc. are well known names in the field of devotion and poetry.
 
Modern Period
 In the modern period, the status of Indian women can be divided into two distinct periods, the British Rule, i.e. Pre-Independence India and Post-Independence India. The British Rule in the 18th Century brought in some degree of political orderliness, but the social...

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